Update: April 19 — Acuna has been diagnosed with a mild abdominal strain after receiving an MRI on Monday. He’s being considered day-to-day by the Braves, who play Tuesday against the Yankees in New York.
Atlanta Braves OF Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed from Sunday Night Baseball vs. the Chicago Cubs with what the team called “pain in the lower abdominal muscles” and he was replaced by Johan Camargo in the lineup. Ehire Adrianza moved to RF to replace Acuna, who was batting first. The Braves are currently leading 7-3 in the 5th inning. Acuna may have injured himself on a head-first slide and this also could just be precautionary considering how important Acuna is to the team.
We don’t know the severity of the injury. Right now it doesn’t appear to be anything overly serious — it could just be precautionary. As of April 14, Acuna was +375 on DraftKings Sportsbook to win NL MVP with 11 percent of the handle and 10 percent of the bets going his way. Acuna had been on a tear to start the season, entering Sunday night batting .433 with 7 HRs and 16 RBI for a cool 1.406 OPS. So far in 2021, 14 of Acuna’s 26 hits have gone for extra bases.
There’s really no replacing Acuna, so if you have him in season-long fantasy baseball, just hope that he doesn’t miss any games or that this is just a short absence. The Braves do have a day off Monday before a short two-game set in the Bronx against the New York Yankees. We’ll see if Acuna is OK by then. If he isn’t, we could see Camargo or Adrianza replace Acuna at the top of the lineup. Adrianza has made the most of his at-bats this season. Ozzie Albies would be the logical choice to lead off, but he’s struggling to start the season, batting .157.